Report: VW seeking separate US factory site for Scout EVs, could include commercial vehicles

Volkswagen is planning a separate United States factory for its planned Scout EV brand, Reuters reported Wednesday. And VW is considering further expanding its U.S. lineup to potentially include more EVs.

The automaker plans to decide on a site later this year, VW CEO Herbert Diess said in an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland.

Diess said VW is considering both brownfield and greenfield sites, referring to existing manufacturing complexes and open space where new factories can be built, respectively.

1971-80 International Harvester Scout

1971-80 International Harvester Scout

Announced earlier this month, the Scout brand will apply the name of the classic International Harvester Scout SUV to a new electric SUV and pickup truck for the U.S. VW previously said the first prototypes will be unveiled in 2023, with production scheduled to start in 2026.

VW confirmed later this month to dealers that Scout would be an independently run brand—specifically that Scout “will be a separate unit and brand within the Volkswagen Group to be managed independently.” U.S. dealers had not been consulted. And based on this round of reports, it sounds like dealers are still being kept in the dark, however.

The Scout SUV and pickup may not be the only utilitarian EVs VW has planned for the U.S.

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

2024 Volkswagen ID.Buzz

In an interview with Reuters, CFO Arno Antlitz said VW was planning an electric pickup separate from the Scout model as part of a $7.5 billion investment in its U.S. product lineup over the next five years. And multiple executives said VW was considering commercial vehicles for the U.S., Reuters reported.

There’s room for those vehicles. VW is selling a commercial version of the ID.Buzz electric Microbus in Europe, but decided not to sell that in the U.S. That makes the brand’s reported 250,000 annual sales target viable.

Don’t forget that VW already has a U.S. EV production line. It’s ramping up mass production of the 2022 ID.4 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as part of a plant expansion started in 2019.

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